An Angel for May Reviews

  • Dec 02, 2017

    This film has an excellent premise: modern boy ends up in WW2 England and learns valuable lessons about life, etc. etc. You know the sort of cliches it will indulge in even if such films aren't exactly common, but at the same time they're cliches for a reason. This film is proof, however, that a great premise is not enough to make a film great. It needs a great script and great execution as well. And both of these are merely competent at best. The film takes no unexpected detours, no interesting perspectives, no new angles. It's not even interested in examining the difference in culture between 1940s England and today. Instead it just goes from point A (travel through time) to point B (meets random girl in trouble) to point C (realize she suffers a terrible fate and works to rescue her). In fact, remove the time travel and it's virtually interchangeable with any number of coming-of-age films. The cinematography is run-of-the-mill made-for-TV-movie, with drab landscapes merged with uninspired camera angles and minimal motion. One effective element is the way it displays the difference between modern and old Yorkshire. Present-day scenes always feature the trappings of modern society somewhere in them in the form of windfarms, highways, etc. It's obvious but effective nonetheless since the Yorkshire countryside hasn't changed all that much since the '40s. Indeed, all the '40s scenes are marked by massive factories and indiustrial buildings that you rarely find anymore. The character drama of the present is effective too, for all that it's typical of the genre. Divorced single mum having trouble getting her son to accept her new boyfriend. No wonder people are easily convinced he's run away. The '40s drama doesn't work quite as well, largely because it's never given time to. Tom Wilkinson is great (naturally) but he's really given very little screentime. We don't really have a chance to know this new world. There are some randomly absurd elements to the film too. Time travel is achieved through the highly unusual element of a magic dog. Or at least that's how I interpret it. There's lightning involved as well, which is a pretty archaic scifi trope. One of my favorite bits was a funny scene where the freshly arrived boy is running through the town as all the locals stare at him. Only it's not like mildly curious staring, they're looking at him like he's a Martian. Have they never seen a boy before? Or perhaps it's his funny 'I gotta run fast only not too fast or the cameramen will lose me' half-jog. I guess the idea is that he's dressed funny (and the gortex raincoat and hoodie obviously aren't standard '40s wear) but is it really so alien? You'd think he was running naked in the streets wearing only prominent Nazi memorabilia the way people were staring at him. Another great scene has the Nazis bombing an empty field in Yorkshire in the middle of the day. It's delightful how little sense this makes. The film isn't completely bad. I'd actually say it's fine. But it's not all it could have been. It's unambitious and predictable, and in this case that makes the film bland. Only the premise saves it to some degree.

    This film has an excellent premise: modern boy ends up in WW2 England and learns valuable lessons about life, etc. etc. You know the sort of cliches it will indulge in even if such films aren't exactly common, but at the same time they're cliches for a reason. This film is proof, however, that a great premise is not enough to make a film great. It needs a great script and great execution as well. And both of these are merely competent at best. The film takes no unexpected detours, no interesting perspectives, no new angles. It's not even interested in examining the difference in culture between 1940s England and today. Instead it just goes from point A (travel through time) to point B (meets random girl in trouble) to point C (realize she suffers a terrible fate and works to rescue her). In fact, remove the time travel and it's virtually interchangeable with any number of coming-of-age films. The cinematography is run-of-the-mill made-for-TV-movie, with drab landscapes merged with uninspired camera angles and minimal motion. One effective element is the way it displays the difference between modern and old Yorkshire. Present-day scenes always feature the trappings of modern society somewhere in them in the form of windfarms, highways, etc. It's obvious but effective nonetheless since the Yorkshire countryside hasn't changed all that much since the '40s. Indeed, all the '40s scenes are marked by massive factories and indiustrial buildings that you rarely find anymore. The character drama of the present is effective too, for all that it's typical of the genre. Divorced single mum having trouble getting her son to accept her new boyfriend. No wonder people are easily convinced he's run away. The '40s drama doesn't work quite as well, largely because it's never given time to. Tom Wilkinson is great (naturally) but he's really given very little screentime. We don't really have a chance to know this new world. There are some randomly absurd elements to the film too. Time travel is achieved through the highly unusual element of a magic dog. Or at least that's how I interpret it. There's lightning involved as well, which is a pretty archaic scifi trope. One of my favorite bits was a funny scene where the freshly arrived boy is running through the town as all the locals stare at him. Only it's not like mildly curious staring, they're looking at him like he's a Martian. Have they never seen a boy before? Or perhaps it's his funny 'I gotta run fast only not too fast or the cameramen will lose me' half-jog. I guess the idea is that he's dressed funny (and the gortex raincoat and hoodie obviously aren't standard '40s wear) but is it really so alien? You'd think he was running naked in the streets wearing only prominent Nazi memorabilia the way people were staring at him. Another great scene has the Nazis bombing an empty field in Yorkshire in the middle of the day. It's delightful how little sense this makes. The film isn't completely bad. I'd actually say it's fine. But it's not all it could have been. It's unambitious and predictable, and in this case that makes the film bland. Only the premise saves it to some degree.

  • Oct 16, 2012

    looking for a copy of this movie. if you have one please e-mail me @ jake22700@aol.com thanks

    looking for a copy of this movie. if you have one please e-mail me @ jake22700@aol.com thanks

  • Jun 22, 2011

    I am such a sucker for movies like this... it was sweet.

    I am such a sucker for movies like this... it was sweet.

  • Dec 15, 2010

    Amateurish acting and an overly sappy (nothing wrong with that if it works but this failed) plot with lame special effects make An Angle for May a movie that few have heard of and with reason.

    Amateurish acting and an overly sappy (nothing wrong with that if it works but this failed) plot with lame special effects make An Angle for May a movie that few have heard of and with reason.

  • Oct 07, 2009

    Not as good as I'd hoped, but interesting.

    Not as good as I'd hoped, but interesting.

  • Sep 24, 2009

    This is such a sweet film, wonderfully acted by everyone and the production is excellent with good period detail. Interesting story and a unique presentation. Very well done.

    This is such a sweet film, wonderfully acted by everyone and the production is excellent with good period detail. Interesting story and a unique presentation. Very well done.

  • Sep 24, 2009

    This is such a sweet film, wonderfully acted by everyone and the production is excellent with good period detail. Interesting story and a unique presentation. Very well done.

    This is such a sweet film, wonderfully acted by everyone and the production is excellent with good period detail. Interesting story and a unique presentation. Very well done.

  • Apr 21, 2009

    a very good and touching phantastic movie about friendship and family. Loved it!

    a very good and touching phantastic movie about friendship and family. Loved it!

  • Mar 22, 2009

    Based on a children's novel recommended for grades 5-7, "An Angel for May" is the story of a twelve-year-old modern boy with family issues (the kind that is deliberately made annoying in order to give him room for growth) who gets transported into a British village in the midst of World War II, and becomes friends with a girl his age suffering from P.T.S.D. The film is slow-paced and very uninspired in its camerawork (back in the eighties, Harley Cokeliss, minus an "e", used to make crappy actioners like "Warlords of the 21st Century", then he went on to direct episodes of Xena, Hercules and other TV series.) The two child actors are nothing exceptional, to say the least, and even though the boy is cute, I found him a bit irritating with his constant frown and the facial tics that constituted most of his acting. However, I was happy for the presence of Tom Wilkinson (whose voice and fatherliness reminded me very much of Brendon Coyle in "Lark Rise to Candleford"), Julie Cox and Anna Massey, though the latter has a very short role indeed. I think the film is critically overrated, but I wouldn't call it worthless. If you are a time travel completist, you will definitely want to watch it, even though I find the idea of changing the past the way it does a little too close to euthanasia. Perhaps you should know too that in this story, May is not a month of the year, and the angel wears a Slipknot sweatshirt.

    Based on a children's novel recommended for grades 5-7, "An Angel for May" is the story of a twelve-year-old modern boy with family issues (the kind that is deliberately made annoying in order to give him room for growth) who gets transported into a British village in the midst of World War II, and becomes friends with a girl his age suffering from P.T.S.D. The film is slow-paced and very uninspired in its camerawork (back in the eighties, Harley Cokeliss, minus an "e", used to make crappy actioners like "Warlords of the 21st Century", then he went on to direct episodes of Xena, Hercules and other TV series.) The two child actors are nothing exceptional, to say the least, and even though the boy is cute, I found him a bit irritating with his constant frown and the facial tics that constituted most of his acting. However, I was happy for the presence of Tom Wilkinson (whose voice and fatherliness reminded me very much of Brendon Coyle in "Lark Rise to Candleford"), Julie Cox and Anna Massey, though the latter has a very short role indeed. I think the film is critically overrated, but I wouldn't call it worthless. If you are a time travel completist, you will definitely want to watch it, even though I find the idea of changing the past the way it does a little too close to euthanasia. Perhaps you should know too that in this story, May is not a month of the year, and the angel wears a Slipknot sweatshirt.

  • Oct 13, 2008

    more than a sci-fi, has a sweet melody. It was greatexperience for me to watch this film on tv

    more than a sci-fi, has a sweet melody. It was greatexperience for me to watch this film on tv